Alberto Contador has refused to rule out the possibility of Samuel Sanchez signing for his Tinkoff-Saxo team, although he noted that it would "not be strictly necessary" for the team to replace Michael Rogers on its roster should the Australian be handed a ban following his positive test for Clenbuterol.
Sanchez is without a team for 2014 following the demise of the Euskaltel-Euskadi squad at the end of last season, and he confirmed to Cyclingnews last week that he does not have a concrete plan in place for the coming year, in spite of rumours linking him with a number of teams, including Tinkoff-Saxo.
"Samuel is a great rider and we get on really well but I don't know exactly how the situation is in terms of conversations with the team," Contador said, according to Marca, adding that he would have a better handle on the situation when the Tinkoff-Saxo team assembles for a training camp next week.
"Is it a possibility? I'd like that," Contador said of Sanchez's possible arrival. "Who wouldn't like a rider of his quality on his team? And all the more so given the great relationship we have."
Contador also expressed his support for Michael Rogers, who tested positive for clenbuterol at the Japan Cup in October and is currently awaiting analysis of his B sample. The Australian has claimed that the positive test was triggered by eating contaminated meat during the Tour of Beijing.
"I hope that everything can be clarified. Personally I think it was due to contamination," said Contador. "I have full confidence in Michael and I hope that they can clarify the matter. He is a fundamental part of our team.
"As for a possible replacement [for Rogers], today I have a pretty solid team, we're at an advanced date and it’s not strictly necessary."
Contador, of course, tested positive for clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France, and was eventually stripped of the title and handed a retroactive two-year ban in February 2012. Like Rogers, Contador cited contaminated meat as an explanation for his positive test.